Jerusalem – In his weekly address this Motzei Shabbos, Rav Ovadia Yosef chose to avoid the Palestinian issue completely and discuss an entirely different topic: sheitels, instructing women to cover their hair with a hat or a kerchief during Aseres Yemei Teshuva instead of wearing a sheitel.
The Rav singled out women of Gerrer Chassidus saying, “A women wears a sheitel. Why? There are Gerrer Chasidim who are lenient in this issue, as if Gerrer Chassidim are the whole world. This is not correct. Poskim have specifically said that wearing a sheitel is forbidden and is a very serious matter.”
The Rav further cited rabbonim, from both the Ashkenazic and Sefardic worlds, that have forbidden sheitels, including the Vilna Gaon and the Chasam Sofer. “These great Rabbonim, their words don’t matter? Be warned: married women have an obligation to cover their hair with either a hat or a kerchief. Aseres Yemei Teshuva are coming, and you will be tested with this. It is vital that you act appropriately.”
To further support his words, the Rav told a story of a couple who went to Rav Yisroel Abu Chatzeira, the Baba Sali for a bracha.
The Baba Sali asked the husband, “Why is your wife wearing a sheitel?”
“This is what people do,” responded the husband.
“This is what people do?” retorted the Baba Sali incredulously.
He turned to the woman and said, “Listen to me. When you get to the next world, they will burn you. They will start to burn you from your sheitel and then they will burn you completely.”
Rav Ovadia Yosef continued, exhorting his listeners to be stringent during the upcoming Aseres Yemei Teshuva not only exchanging their sheitels for a hat or a kerchief but in other matters as well.
“A man buys meat. Does he know what kind of meat he is buying? As long as it says kosher, he thinks it is good enough. He doesn’t make sure the meat is Basar Chalak, that it is meat that has Beis Yosef shechita. During the rest of the year, he can be forgiven for this, but during Aseres Yemei Teshuva, how can a person be so lenient? Yes, a person can do teshuva, but that is akin to someone who goes to purify himself in the mikvah while holding an impure insect in his hand. At least during these nine days of the year, a person should be careful to preserve this mitzvos to their fullest.”